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Eyebrow pencils: MAC Eye Brows Styler, NYX Micro Brow or Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim?

MAC, NYX and Maybelline eyebrow pencil
Dual ended pencils with plastic casing, spoolie brush on one end and twist-up, fine tip product on the other. There are caps on both ends (not pictured).

I was very late to the eyebrow shaping game but now that I have discovered it, I agree that eyebrows can make or break your entire look. I like my eyebrows to look as natural as possible and since I already have quite full brows, a brow pencil is all I need to perfect them.

I used to be the girl that only needed a good threading to have perfect eyebrows. On one dreadful day I decided to try a new beautician because my usual one was unavailable. I have naturally arched brows so I always give specific instructions - neaten them up, DO NOT shape them. I gave this witch the same instructions but she completely disregarded them and gave me the thinnest and highest eyebrow she could without taking it off completely. After realising that she had butchered my right eyebrow I left the shop without letting her do the second one. You know the saying, "Your eyebrows are supposed to be sisters, not twins"? Well mine were complete strangers!

I refused to let anyone else touch my brows for nearly a year and when I finally did, I discovered a bald spot right in the middle of the right brow. The hairs now grow back but they are still quite thin in comparison to the rest. It was this incident that lead me to brow pencils. My first brow pencil came from the original hub for make-up beginners, MAC Cosmetics. They had quite a few brow products but I settled on the MAC Eye Brows Styler pencil because I only needed it to add fine strokes to the bald patch. I had always been scared of brow products, losing half your brow in the middle of the day due to fading or smudging was an embarrassment I wasn't ready to experience, so my most important requirement was that it was smudge proof.

I love the MAC Eye Brows Styler pencil but I wanted a cheaper alternative. I heard that the NYX Micro Brow was comparable so I decided to try it. More recently there's been a buzz around the Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim and it's been getting rave reviews so, despite having 2 unopened MAC Eye Brows Styler back-ups, the product junkie in me couldn't resist. Don't judge me.



  • Shade: I use the shade "Stud" which is a warm black-brown.

  • Product: It glides on very easily without being too creamy or waxy. It's very pigmented so a little goes a long way and it is very easy to build up. I have gone through a few of these and the product "stick" has never broken.

  • Size: 0.9g

  • Cost: £16/$19

  • Where to buy it: MAC Cosmetics



  • Shade: I use the shade "Black" which, despite the name, is actually a cool toned black-brown. I don't like cool toned pencils because they don't photograph well on me (I have golden undertones) but it was wearable.

  • Product: It is a much stiffer product and required a bit of pressure to apply but it didn't crumble or break. It was smudge proof and lasted all day but, despite inconsistent use, it ran out very quickly.

  • Size: 0.5g

  • Cost: from £10/$9.99

  • Where to buy it: Superdrug, Boots (UK)/Ulta, Target (US)



  • Shade: I bought this in "Deep Brown", a warm dark brown, and in "Black Brown", a warm, almost black, brown. I preferred the latter.

  • Product: This is a weird one because the Black Brown pencil had a drier formula that crumbled while being applied but the Deep Brown had a much creamier formula. Both resulted in a waste of product (the creamy formula "melted"around the tip of the packaging). Both had great colour payoff but noticeably faded over time.

  • Size: 0.9g

  • Cost: from £7.99/$7.99

  • Where to buy it: Superdrug, Boots (UK)/Ulta, Target (US)


  • All the pencils defined my brows beautifully and were the perfect size to fill in the gaps. 

  • They all come in similar packaging but the Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim has a shorter and harder spoolie brush than the others. I wasn't a fan, I prefer a longer, softer spoolie.

  • Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim in Black Brown is a colour dupe for MAC Eye Brows Styler in Stud.

  • All the products are really pigmented and have great colour payoff.

  • Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim didn't wear as well as the others so I would only recommend it for short time wear (~6hrs).

  • They were all black-brown shades but the NYX Micro Brow came off the darkest which I could get away with but may be too dark for fairer complexions (click here for skin deets). The next shade up (Espresso) was too light of a brown for me.

  • Although Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim and NYX Micro Brow have a similar price point, I feel like the former is a better product.

  • All these pencils are available in 8 shades.


  • MAC Eye Brows Styler: 5/5 - Still my undefeated fave.

  • NYX Micro Brow: 3/5 - A good product but it was up against tough competition

  • Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim: 4/5 - I would repurchase and use it as an everyday product but I wouldn't trust it in the summer lol

What is your favourite brow product? Have you tried a brow pencil better than MAC Eye Brows Styler? Leave all your recommendations in the comments below and don't forget,


Please Note: The prices listed in GB Pounds and US Dollars are not conversions of each other, they are the prices listed on the websites provided.


If you found this content helpful, feel free to buy me a coffee. 😊


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